Australia 602-9 dec & 202-1 dec v England 157 & 293-5: Warne wickets check England fightback

Shane Warne claimed a four-wicket haul to undermine England's spirited resistance as Australia moved closer to victory in the opening Ashes Test.

The legendary leg-spinner finished wicketless as Australia's seamers dismissed the tourists for a lowly 157 in the first innings, but made a more telling contribution as England battled for survival on the fourth day at the Gabba.

Warne claimed four for 108 as England finished the day on 293 for five, still trailing by 354, with Kevin Pietersen unbeaten on 92 while Paul Collingwood fell just four runs short of a maiden Ashes century.

Australia had batted on for just 25 minutes at the start of the day to allow Justin Langer to reach his 23rd Test century before declaring 647 runs ahead on 201 for one.

They made a solid start with Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook denying Australia, who were led by Adam Gilchrist because captain Ricky Ponting was off the field with a slight back strain, for 11 overs.

But Strauss allowed the pressure to get to him just eight overs before lunch and mis-timed an attempted pull of Stuart Clark straight to substitute fielder Ryan Broad at fine leg.

The consequences of that risky shot soon became evident with Ian Bell falling three overs later lbw to Warne when he played for the turn but was outwitted with the flipper which carried on in a straight line into his front pad.

Warne claimed his second victim 11 overs after lunch by dismissing Cook, who had battled hard for his 43 but was caught off an inside edge pushing forward defensively.

But Collingwood, dropped on one by Damien Martyn at short extra cover off Stuart Clark, battled hard and forged a 153-run stand with Pietersen spanning 34 overs.

Just as his century came into view, however, Collingwood danced down the wicket to try and hit Warne over long on, was beaten by the turn and Gilchrist completed a regulation stumping.

Captain Andrew Flintoff fell in similarly disappointing fashion eight overs later, miscuing an attempted pull to Langer at long on, but Pietersen and Geraint Jones successfully combined to thwart Australia for the final 36 minutes of the day.

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<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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